Trump Administration Considers Change in Transgender Rights
During Obama’s presidency, sex and gender were defined separately in healthcare and education. This allowed people to identify as a different gender, than which they were assigned at birth.
The Trump administration is now considering closing the gap between sex and gender identities. The Department of Health and Human Services stated in a memo that the administration needs to adopt a clear definition of sex as “determined on a biological basis that is clear, grounded in science, objective and administrable.” The proposed definition of a person’s sex as either male or female, depending on the genitalia a person was born with.
This new definition of the word would underrepresent the 1.4 million Americans who identify as transgender (as a gender other than the one they were born into.) This decision is considered by some to be one of the biggest regressive decisions of the Trump administration.
Although there is no clear explanation as to why there needs to be a new definition, the department stated in the memo, “the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence.”
The new decision, that will potentially eradicate federal acknowledgment of trans lives, is a major setback to what activists for the LGBTQ+ community have been fighting for. Ms. Lhamon, of Obama’s Education Department, said that the proposed definition “quite simply negates the humanity of people.”
This will greatly impact schools because that is where most issues dealing with gender identity have occurred. Over the past few years, the biggest issue with gender identity has been the bathrooms and locker rooms of schools. This posed the question: how will this decision affect the atmosphere around schools?
The Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has said it will continue to “open cases where transgender students face discrimination, bullying and harassment, and investigate gender-based harassment as unwelcome conduct based on a student’s sex or harassing conduct based on a student’s failure to conform to sex stereotypes.”